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Corn Salsa

This Corn Salsa is bursting with fresh flavors, easy to pull together, and always a crowd-pleaser. Here’s a healthy, boldly delicious party appetizer you can make ahead of time.

Corn Salsa in a bowl with tortilla chips on the side.

What is Corn Salsa?

Corn salsa is a type of salsa that puts the spotlight on sweet corn. It’s a popular Mexican-inspired dish known for its fresh and vibrant flavors. Corn salsa typically combines cooked or grilled corn kernels with various other ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime. Our favorite part – as wildly delicious as it is, this recipe comes together in just a few minutes and can be made ahead of time. This Corn Salsa can be served as an appetizer, lunch, or dinner and is just dying to be the centerpiece at your next gathering and you can even use it with this 4-Ingredient Enchilada Bake.

Why This Recipe Stands Out

  • This Corn Salsa boasts fresh flavors sure to make your mouth water and taste buds dance.
  • Recipes don’t get easier than this. It really is as simple as combining everything into a bowl and then stirring before diving in.
  • This recipe only has 6 ingredients that are all easily accessible; you may already have them in your pantry.
  • Corn Salsa is versatile. It’s the perfect base you could use to add in other favorite vegetables such as peppers or beans.
  • You can make this salsa a day in advance, letting the flavors meld while making things easier on yourself.
The ingredients for Corn Salsa laying out on a table.
This recipe boasts fresh, vibrant flavors and colors.

Key Ingredients

Here’s all you’ll need to make Corn Salsa:

  • Corn – You can cut corn kernels from freshly cooked corn on the cob, canned, or thawed frozen corn.
  • Onion – Red onion is always the fan favorite in fresh salsa, but a white or yellow onion will work perfectly fine in a pinch.
  • Lime – Lime juice adds a citrus element of flavor burst.
  • Cilantro – Cilantro has an ultra-fresh, citrusy taste that takes Corn Salsa to the next level.
  • Tomatoes – Nothing beats a ripe and juicy fresh garden tomato!
  • Garlic – Fresh or pre-minced in water, either way, this is a crucial ingredient.
  • Salt & Pepper – Keep the spices simple with just salt and pepper flavored to your preference.
Corn kernels measured on a plate.
Sweet corn is the star of this recipe and can be fresh, frozen, or canned.

Smart Tips

  • Always drain canned corn before adding it to Corn Salsa. Canned corn comes with liquid in the can, but this liquid will make your salsa too watery if added to your mixture.
  • If cutting onions makes your eyes water, try freezing the onion for 10-15 minutes before chopping. This blast of cold prevents the enzyme that makes your eyes water from getting into the air. Or, substitute onion for the milder green onion.
  • If it’s in season, cut kernels from freshly cooked corn. We know it’s a bit more leg work, but since this salsa’s star ingredient is corn, it does elevate the outcome. This also allows you to get the nice char mark on your corn pieces either by briefly grilling or holding over an open gas oven flame.
Corn Salsa in a bowl with tortilla chips on the side.
Serve with your favorite gluten-free tortilla chip for a naturally gluten free meal.

How to Serve Salsa

This Corn Salsa perfect for any occasion, all year round, but we particularly love it for all the summer gatherings. Here are our favorite ways to enjoy this recipe:

Commonly Asked Questions

Do I need to use fresh corn?

The short answer is no. Fresh corn is definitely delicious, however, it’s not a must. Canned corn or even frozen corn will still yield a result you’ll keep coming back to for one more bite, but if you do have access to fresh corn, we definitely recommend giving this recipe a try with that at one point.

How long does Corn Salsa stay good for?

Corn Salsa will stay good in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days. Although, we must say that it truly is the best the day it’s made as the flavors are most vibrant and fresh.

Can I add other veggies to this recipe?

Absolutely! This recipe is super versatile, so feel free to add in extra peppers, beans, or other veggies of your choosing. You can fit this recipe to your preferences. Just keep in mind that if you add a ton more ingredients, you might need to adjust the amount of lime juice, cilantro, and seasonings to ensure the same flavor burst.

Is corn salsa spicy?

The spice level of corn salsa varies, depending whether you use mild vs. hot peppers, or no peppers at all. You can adjust the heat level by adding or reducing the amount of hot peppers or spices.

Can I use frozen corn for corn salsa?

Yes, you can use frozen corn to make corn salsa. Thaw the frozen corn, cook it briefly, and rinse in cold water. Alternatively, you can also use canned corn, which is already cooked and ready to use. When using either canned or frozen corn, be sure to drain it well.

More to Make and Eat

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Corn salsa in a dish

Corn Salsa

5 from 39 ratings
This Corn Salsa is bursting with fresh flavors, easy to pull together, and always a crowd-pleaser. Here's your next guilt-free snacking addiction!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Amy Dong


  • 1 cup corn kernels*
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • juice of 2 whole limes
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, vine-ripened or cherry, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • In a glass bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to mix well.Add more salt and black pepper to taste, if needed.
    Salsa is best made either the night before or at least several hours ahead of time to allow flavors to meld. Keep in airtight container, chilled, until ready to serve.
    Fresh corn salsa in a bowl with tortilla chips on the side.


  • We recommend using cherry tomatoes or vine-ripened tomatoes for best flavor and sweetness.
  • You can cut corn kernels from freshly boiled or grilled corn-on-the-cob, or you can use canned corn kernels. If using canned, be sure to fully drain before use. 
  • This corn salsa is fabulous on top your favorite Tex Mex dinner like this Tex Mex Burrito Bowl. We also love it over grilled chicken. For more serving ideas, see original article. 
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1g | Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 641IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican, Mexican American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegetarian
Method: asemble

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